Tech know-how needed to help novices get connected

A young woman showing an older woman how to use a tablet device

Age UK Norfolk is looking for Digital Champions to volunteer to help people learn how to use modern technology - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Smartphone savvy? Know your way around emails, e-cards and are quite the pro when it comes to video calls?

Could you share your skills?

Age UK Norfolk is urgently seeking volunteers to support a digital inclusion project aiming to help get older people in Norfolk better connected. 

Learning to text, send emails, e-cards and video calling are all on the agenda to ensure more older people in Norfolk can keep in touch with family and friends and be aware of activities and resources in their community. 

The charity is seeking volunteers who can help older people gain confidence with their devices such as smart phones and tablets. Emma Parker, supporting and enabling officer at Age UK Norfolk, said: "Many of the older people that we speak to have devices such as a tablet but don’t have the confidence to use it.

"If you can complete tasks such as connecting to Wi-Fi, sending an email or setting up video calls, and you have some time to spare, we’d love to hear from you. 

“Building confidence with tasks like these could make a real difference to an older person, especially over the colder, darker winter months when we know that people value connection with others so highly.”

An elderly couple having a video call with three other people via a smartphone

Learning how to set up and join video calls with family and friends can make all the difference to someone previously unsure about using modern technology - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Doris, 98, was keen to use a tablet that she had been given but wasn’t sure how to work it. After signing up to Age UK Norfolk’s Let’s Get Digital service, Doris was matched with a volunteer, Chris, who provided one-to-one guidance on using the tablet.

Doris said: “I needed some help to send emails and use Zoom so I can keep in touch with family. I’ve now set up a Zoom account and have sent and received emails from family and friends – I have had lots of Zoom video calls with my family!

"Chris was very patient and we got on very well together too, which I think helped a lot. I have found it very helpful and am very pleased with the service.”

Chris, Doris’ volunteer, said: “The feedback I’ve had from those I’ve helped has been really positive and very rewarding. I have especially liked the challenge of helping Doris use a tablet over the phone – challenging but she is a whizz at Zoom now!”

Celebrating 75 years

Age UK Norfolk celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and thanks its volunteers, past and present, for their dedication and hard work in supporting older people in Norfolk. Thanks to the kind support of thousands of volunteers over those years, the charity has been able to evolve with the times and hopes to continue doing so through the digital inclusion initiative.

Elderly woman looking at a smartphone

Age UK Norfolk is looking for volunteers to teach people how to use modern technology such as smartphones and tablets. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Age UK Norfolk has a variety of volunteering opportunities available along with Digital Champions, such as fundraising, admin, befriending and much more.

No experience is necessary, and whatever your talents and interests, there is likely to be an opportunity where you can share your knowledge, make new friends, and make a real difference to the lives of older people in Norfolk.

To find out more about volunteering, contact Age UK Norfolk’s volunteering co-ordinator on 01603 785 210 / volunteering@ageuknorfolk.org.uk or download a volunteer application form from www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/

Age UK Norfolk is hosting free Let’s Get Digital sessions at its Dereham Charity Shop

Age UK Norfolk is hosting free Let’s Get Digital sessions at its Dereham Charity Shop on February 22, March 22 and April 19, 10am to 4pm - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Let’s Get Digital 

Age UK Norfolk is hosting free Let’s Get Digital sessions at its Dereham Charity Shop with a Digital Champion. Sessions will be available to book or drop in for anyone needing help and guidance with their device. Staff in store are also all ‘light touch’ champions and can assist with basic support with a digital device at any time.

Sessions are taking place on February 22, March 22 and April 19, 10am to 4pm at the Age UK Norfolk Furniture and More Store, 31 Yaxham Road, Dereham, NR19 1HD. To find out more or book a session, call 01603 863811 or email digitalinclusion@ageuknorfolk.org.uk